Big Society? More like Battered Society. Melissa Benn on two books that expose the ‘war on the weakest’ in Cameron’s Britain
In a manner suggestive of Ken Loach’s magisterial 2013 film The Spirit of ’45, Smith sees the postwar era as Britain’s finest moment destroyed a half-century or more later by neoliberal economics and unrestrained finance capital.
Right now, some inventive literary festival programmer is probably trying to set up a staged discussion between Harry Leslie Smith and Mary O’Hara.
In the topsy-turvy world of British politics, with Labour seeking the centre ground and the Conservative party projecting itself as the party of the workers, Man-Made feels heaven sent. With an unerring lucidity, it lays out the multiple ways that inequality continues to frustrate the aspirations of half the population. Given that its female interviewees include the chief executives of the Association of Drainage Authorities and Yorkshire Water, the vice president of (environmental) Upstream BP and the chair of the Civil Aviation Authority,